Monday, December 8, 2014

The Church Today: Business Or Christianity?

Doozie Paschal, Author

This is one of those questions that people answer without even thinking about it. However, a lot of people have different perspectives on this question. Some say the church is a business because of how it is run. Others say it’s not a business because of its nature as a body of believers.

Most pastors will argue that the church is an organization with several branches and therefore needs money to take care of the cost to maintain it. This is an error in thinking, trying to attach some form of humanness and worldly definition to an idea that is of God solely. The church is compared specifically to the family in the bible; it is a living institution that has the goal to serve. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. However, that picture gets convoluted by our erred perception of reality.

The bigger question may be what was God’s plan for the church to raise money to do the work it should do? The answer is in the scriptures: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (I Cor. 16:2). To introduce any other plan is to depart from the word of God.

Yet another question maybe, why does this Scriptural provision seem not to be enough for those who claim to be “advancing the kingdom”? Simply, because the Church is run like a business enterprise; Money comes in, a committee decides on what that money should be used for and plans are set for activities to bring in more money.

Paul did not burden the church but continued to work as a tent maker. The monies collected by the church went to the needy widows and orphans and not to make a few individuals rich. Jesus took up his tool box and lunch box and went to work every single day. Never once did he ask people for money to support his ministry on earth. Is there any Ministry on earth bigger than the one Jesus himself led?! NO

In recent years, those asking us to give it all for the “kingdom” have lifestyles we can’t afford as hard as we work. They drive in the most expensive cars, sleep in the biggest mansions and wear the most shinny clothes while the rest of the congregation wallow in extreme poverty. Church members have become mere resources to feed the wealth and ego of their leaders.

It has become increasingly difficult for members to have their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs ministered to because they can’t afford their 10% tithes, first offering, sacrificial offering, mission offering “Kofi n Ama” offering and many more such contributions. Members have to buy a wide range of products from “holy water” to “holy stickers” in order to receive the “blessings of God”.

I sometimes wonder, if there were no money available, will there still be pastors bringing the word of God with a joyful heart? For me, whether I’m broke or wealthy I still serve Jesus, although I seem to do it more when I’m broke.

Those who give more money are treated like celebrities and those who pay their tithe but are unable to provide for the other numerous offerings are rather treated as though they do not pay their tithes. The need for God is disguised in money. We cannot serve both God and money and Jesus knew that.

A church that takes a business philosophy is not only an ugly church but is also putting people in bondage. If you want to run a business, run a business but don’t run a church like a business just because you are a Christian. I believe in God and institutionalized Evangelicalism is a waste of time.

It is a BUSINESS.        
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future” (Jeremiah 29;11)

By Paschal Doozie

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